Russell School’s special day
Porirua’s civic service for Armistice Day was celebrated at Russell School last week. Pupils, parents, teachers, community members and invited guests – including Porirua RSA representatives – were welcomed into the school hall because of the wind and threat of rain.
After a haka from pupils and poetry readings, wreaths were laid at the school’s flagpole.
Principal Sose Annandale said the close links between the school and Porirua RSA were due to longtime school secretary Ann Mills, who died recently.
‘‘We’re honoured to have the civic service for Porirua at our school,’’ Annadale said.
‘‘It is important for our children to understand why we recognise this day, because of the sacrifice so many people made for our freedom.’’
Former RSA president Evan Black said there was celebration in Wellington on November 12, 1918 — New Zealand being a day ahead owing to the dateline – when Prime Minister William Massey read out the news that the war had ended.
‘‘Everyone sitting here in front of me will be pleased to hear school closed for the day.’’
Black noted that the number of New Zealanders based overseas at the war’s end was 52,000, close to Porirua’s population today.
Colourful: An example of Russell School pupils’ work, hanging in the school hall.
Welcome: Fay Nafatali greets guests into Russell School’s hall.
Mournful: Colin Simpson plays The Last Post.